Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The "Blessed"

O Lord, you are such a blessing! You bless me so abundantly! How easy it is to sit in this comfortable chair, in this very adequate house, sipping hot coffee as I contemplate my faithfulness. How easy to be faithful in this situation! Oh yes I can praise the Lord, knowing we have enough money to meet every need, that we enjoy good health for ourselves, our children, and grandchildren, and that we're surrounded by a loving church family. What about those who aren't as "blessed" as we perceive ourselves to be? Are we favored? Has the Lord withdrawn his favor from them?

Actually, God never withdraws his blessings. It is we who must adjust our glasses (perspective).

Here's what I mean: Lord how blessed and admirable are those who praise you but have few or none of the luxurious blessings I enjoy! They have learned to look to you as a child looks to his parents for survival.

How beautiful are they who struggle every day with serious illness with no trace of bitterness! They have realized that your wisdom is all that counts.

How precious in your sight, the lonely ones who have endured the agonizing loss of dear ones and still lovingly cling to you as the drowning grip a lifeline.

These know you intimately as friend. How honored in your eyes the precious souls who have few worldly treasures, but fill their hearts and homes to overflowing with the needy! They fully experience delicious satisfaction in serving you.

So who is it who's really blessed here? Those with this mindset: "Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights." Habakkuk 3:17-19

"In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord's people." 2 Cor. 8:1-4

O Lord, may it never be that troubles - want, pain, betrayal, loss - overcome me, transform me into one who is angry and unbelieving, a grumbling, disenchanted Christian, too paralyzed to serve my God. Strengthen me in my inner woman O Lord, that I may be humbly faithful, trustworthy and uncomplaining - whatever my circumstances.

Make me an "even though" person.